Bhaktha: Swami, last time you spoke of the Mahabharatha war; in the same
manner, does the Ramayana also happen in every one's heart?
Swami: Undoubtedly! It does take place systematically and in the same
Bhaktha: Then, in what form does Rama come in this?
Swami: The Atma is Rama. He has come, in the character of Jivi, wearing
the dress called body.
Bhaktha: Then, being a Sankalpasiddha, whose will prevails, and being
omnipotent, who is all-powerful, why does He suffer so much?
Swami: It is all play: His Leela, sport. What can be joy for Him? And
what can be suffering for Him? He is Anandaswarupa, who knows neither.
By His will He can produce everything. He has enacted the Ramayana on
the stage of the theatre of the world, with Himself taking a role and
showing each quality or Guna as a separate form. Such a Ramayana is taking
place, in every heart. The Rama in the heart, the Atmarama, is observing
everything, as witness.
Bhaktha: But the inert material Jada, the Jivi, how does it enter into
Swami: This Jada accepts the active Chaithanya, viz. the knowledge of
Brahmam. Chaithanya is born with the name of Seetha. The Jada-Chaithanya
become one. This is referred to as Seetharama. So long as the Jada and
the Chaithanya are one, there is not trouble and no suffering. It is the
separation of one of these two that gives rise to all the bother.
Bhaktha: How is that, Swami?
Swami: Seetha, who is Brahmajnana, goes away from the Atma which is in
the form of the Jiva; hence, falling into the darkness of the jungle is
inevitable. Rama has acted in this way to show us this; if Seetha or Brahmajnana
is allowed to be lost, one cannot escape wandering about in the jungle
Bhaktha: If that is so, what is the reason, Swami, for this Lakshmana
to be always with Him? In our life what does he stand for?
Swami: One should not be alone in the dark jungle of life; one should
have the Manas, ever by one's side. It is for this that Lakshmana is kept
Bhaktha: In the Ramayana, Vali and Sugriva are described. Who are they?
Swami: When wandering in the dark jungle one gets despair when one should
get discrimination. They have vengeful hatred of each other. Vali who
is despair has to be destroyed; then only can success come. Despair is
Vali; discrimination is Sugriva.
Bhaktha: Hanuman, who appears between these two, who is he?
Swami: He who is of great help in the conquest of despair, viz. courage!
That is Hanuman, He is courage. Associated with courage, it is possible
to cross the ocean of illusion; that is why Rama built the Sethu or bridge
with the help of Hanuman.
Bhaktha: After crossing the ocean of illusion, what is to be planned?
Swami: Don't you know what Rama did after crossing over the bridge? Conquering
Moha or illusion, He slew Rajoguna and Thamoguna in the form of Ravana
and Kumbhakarna. The remaining brother, the last, the Sathwaguna, viz.,
Vibhishana was crowned king. The three Gunas have been illustrated in
the characters and careers of the three brothers, Ravana, Kumbhakarna
Bhaktha: After this, what has to be achieved?
Swami: Has to be achieved, do you say? Next, is the attainment of Anubhavajnana
or Seetha; the Jnana reached after experience, Jnana realised in actual
life. When both Jada and Chaithanya unite again, that is the Pattabhisheka,
the coronation; that is to say Jivanmukthi, salvation for the Jiva. Therefore,
the fundamental teaching of the Ramayana is this: "The Jiva, Manas,
Jnana, despair, discrimination, courage, delusion, Rajas, Thamas, Sathwa;
these demonstrate themselves each in a different form; it to be learnt
how and in what ways each of these can be either acquired or subdued."
All this is done by the Atma, who has come in the form and with the name
of Rama, by His acting, behaving, directing and guiding. So, the Ramayana
has not ended long ago. So long as in each one's life there is a struggle
for achievement through these paths, and persons attain the Anubhavajnana
in the end and Sathwaguna is crowned at last, until then the Ramayana
will continue to take place in the heart of man. On one side the Mahabharatha
war, on the other side the Ramayana; and on another the Bhagavatha; thus
is life led perpetually. These are the Sukshma forms of the Ramayana,
the Mahabharatha and the Bhagavatha; do you understand?
Bhaktha: That means, in the Ramayana of actual life, Atma is Rama, Manas
is Lakshman, Brahmajnana is Seetha; and when that Seetha is lost, Rama
falls into the forest of existence; there, in that forest, there are despair
and discrimination; if we associate ourselves with Hanuman or courage,
we can go across the sea of delusion, with the army of zest, strength
and steadfastness represented by Jambavan, Angada and other Vanaras; as
soon as we cross it, we can destroy the Rajasic quality and the Thamasic
quality symbolised by Ravana and Kumbhakarna; the Sathwic quality or Vibhishana
can then be crowned; Anubhavajnana or Seetha is then attained. This union
of Jada and Chaithanya, that is, of Seetha and Rama is the Ananda, Jivanmukthi,
salvation for the soul. Ah! What a splendid Ramayana! The Ramayana accomplished
as the son of Dasaratha is being enacted now as the subtle Ramayana, through
Gunas and Indriyas, qualities and senses in each individual, so to say.
Swami: There is no 'so to say' in this. It is happening as the subtle
Bhaktha: You said, Swami, that each Guna and each Indriya adopts in Ramayana
a separate form. It causes some surprise to imagine that the senses also
put on some form! In these, the gross and the subtle Ramayanas, in what
form do the senses appear? Please tell me this.
Swami: Whatever may be the Guna or quality how can it express itself,
without the help of the senses? Gunas are bred in the senses. The senses
of action are five; the senses of knowledge are five. These ten, with
the help of the Manas, create attachment, isn't it? Otherwise, there can
be no merging at all. "Born in Maya, bred in Maya, man's mission
is to master Maya", it is said. So too, born in the senses, bred
in the senses, the Jada Chaithanya has to master the senses. That is their
basic duty, don't you know? Do you know where Rama, the Jivi, was born?
Whose son is He? Dasaratha has that name because he symbolises the Dasendriyas,
or the ten senses. Whichever Guna or Rupa we consider, it cannot be unrelated
to the ten senses, the senses of action and of knowledge, the Karmendriyas
and the Jnanendriyas, in the form of Dasaratha, we have the ten.
Bhaktha: Four sons were born of Dasaratha. Of what were they the forms,
Swami: From the ten senses, not only four, but any number of Gunas and
Rupas can originate. But only the chiefest, the four, symbolising the
four faces of the Lord, originated by His will. They are born as Rama,
Lakshmana, Bharatha and Sathrughna. They are Sathya, Dharma, Santhi and
Prema in the subtle form. These are the four faces of the Lord.
Bhaktha: Who among these, Swami, is Sathya? Who represent Dharma, Santhi
Swami: Can't you discover? Rama is Sathya. "The status and the honour
should go to him who has the right, not to me," said Bharatha when
he was offered the crown, and so he is Dharma. Placing complete faith
on the Atma, that is, Rama, believing that there is no Ananda sweeter
than its uninterrupted company, Lakshmana followed Rama and so he is Prema.
Having no individual separate ambition of his own, treading the paths
followed by these three, Sathrughna was calm and unperturbed and so he
is Santhi. Is that clear?
Bhaktha: Yes, Swami, but these four were born of three mothers; who are
Swami: As I said just now, 'born in Maya, bred in Maya, one has to transcend
this Maya'; so also, one in born from Gunas, one is brought up with Gunas;
finally, one has to transcend the Gunas. The three mothers represent three
Gunas! Among them, Kousalya is Sathwaguna, Kaikeyi is Rajoguna, and Sumithra,
Thamoguna; they play those roles, in the epic. Dasaratha in the form of
Dasendriyas is associated with these Gunas so he is Indriyagunaswarupa.
It is because man cannot easily grasp the truth through the senses and
the Gunas only, that the Lord taught him through the Ramayana, the Lord
teaching us even to this day. The Lord performed that day the gross Ramayana;
and today He is performing the Sukshmaramayana on the stage of the heart